Women Increasingly Prefer IUDs, Reports New CDC Research

Until we figure out a better way to guard against unwanted pregnancies (*cough* male birth control *cough*), we’re stuck either taking a pill with near-religious obligation, or inserting hormone-leaking foreign objects into our lady parts. Though the latter sounds less-than-ideal, IUD use is on the rise, according to a new study. Long-acting reversible methods are actually preferable to the alternative of hand-wringing after a one-off with a partner. According to the CDC, the IUD is still the least-utilized form of female contraception when compared with sterilization, the pill, and condoms, but as the Washington Post reports, “IUD and other long-acting reversible methods have been gaining favor again as doctors recognize them as one of the safest and most effective forms of birth control,” especially for teens.

According to the CDC report, the percentage of women taking contraceptives hasn’t budged in the last 10 years (it remains a consistent 62 percent of women in the U.S.). However favoritism for long-lasting reversible contraceptives has become greater in women ages 25 to 34 (11.1 percent). Additionally, almost all women have used some form of contraceptive at some point in their lives, “although at any given time they may not be using contraception for reasons such as seeking pregnancy, being pregnant, or not being sexually active.”

The Post also reports that teenage girls are way more likely (16 times!) to pick IUDs when they are educated about all their contraception options, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study. So while the pill is most popular among women ages 15 to 24, the more information they have about contraceptives, the more likely they are to opt for long-acting reversible birth control — again, the safest form of contraceptives in teens. But hey, it’s reassuring to hear that 6 in 10 of us make it a priority, whether or not we're sexually active. Maybe next we can tackle the whole “no babies” lady-shaming stigma.

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